LONDON – Delta Air Lines has begun operating the last A320ceo family aircraft ever built marking the end of a 33-year-long era.
The U.S. major airline took delivery of its last A321 ‘ceo’, acronym of current engine option, on 16 December 2021. The aircraft is registered N129DN and was built in Airbus’ production site in Mobile, Alabama.
On 30 December, the aircraft started service from Minneapolis to New York-LaGuardia carrying flight number DL1045.
According to Cirium’s fleet data, Delta operates 127 A321ceos equipped with 198 seats (20 First, 29 Comfort+, 149 Economy). The airline plans to add 155 A321neos (a new engine option) from the first half of 2022 through 2027.
The first A321neo already bears the tail number N501DA and is powered by PW1000G.
Delta’s fleet also includes 57 A319-100s and 56 A320-200s with an average age of 23 years picked up from Northwest Airlines after the merger in 2008.
The final A320ceo family aircraft also marks the end of a long era that revolutionized the aviation industry. The first A320-111 was delivered to Air France on 28 March 1988 while Lufthansa received the first stretched A321-131 on 27 January 1994.
The A320 was a brand-new model by that time because it pioneered the use of fly-by-wire and side-stick.
In 2006, Airbus started working on an enhanced version of the aircraft with larger winglets (later renamed sharklets), aerodynamic refinements, weight savings, and a new aircraft cabin.